Traditional dances like ‘silat kura-kura’ and ‘ulik mayang’ need greater international exposure to keep the art forms alive for future generations. Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz called on Terengganu to ensure that silat kura-kura – a unique form of silat which mimics turtle movements – does not die off owing to lack of interest among the younger generation. (Pix by GHAZALI KORI)

KUALA TERENGGANU: Traditional dances like ‘silat kura-kura’ and ‘ulik mayang’ need greater international exposure to keep the art forms alive for future generations.

Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz called on Terengganu to ensure that silat kura-kura – a unique form of silat which mimics turtle movements – does not die off owing to lack of interest among the younger generation.

“I hope the state will take earnest steps to groom more youths to pursue this ancient art form, as I am afraid it will vanish altogether when the current aging performers retire.

“This will be a heritage loss for the state, famous for its leatherback turtles,” he said at the launch of the ‘Red One Beach Festival’ in conjunction with ‘Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017’ at Batu Burok here.

Nazri added that he would like to introduce a traditional art form, like silat kura-kura, at the Malaysian pavilion overseas during his ministry’s participation there.

“I believe such (a showcase) will not only add colour to our culture and arts, but also be a major tourist attraction to woo foreign visitors to our country” he said.

Nazri added that Terengganu has a rich heritage, with unique, age-old traditions and customs – yet many are not aware of this, owing to lack of publicity.

“To boost its rich, yet untapped heritage, we will host a Terengganu Night for four days at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur in July.

“(We will also highlight) Terengganu’s array of traditional cuisines for people to know what the east coast peninsular state has to offer,” he said.

The ‘Red One Beach Festival’, which will run till March 25, features a range of activities and events, including a fishing and beach soccer competition, and other traditional games; as well as an array of cuisines courtesy of a host of food and beverage stalls.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Tourism Department director Tun Ahmad Faisal Tun Abdul Razak said the year so far has seen a plethora of events held as part of the ‘Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017’ calendar.

Events include the Terengganu Experience (Feb 18-April 30), Matta Travel Fair (March 17-19), the Suktra Appreciation Night (March 20), FIM Asia Motocross (March 24-25), Kenyir Bird and Nature Quest (March 25-26) and the Terengganu Bike Week (March 27-April 2).

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